Ratatouille is a renowned French dish that has been around since the 18th Century, but here in the UK it made a real impact in the 1970s and was often served as a dinner party dish. But this vegetable stew/casserole is not only very tasty but also full of goodness.

vegetables 2735873 1920 1024x683 - 70s Inspired Retro Recipes: Ratatouille

 

Ingredients

  • 2 aubergines, sliced
  • 4 courgettes, sliced
  • 2 red peppers, chopped or sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil (and a little extra for drizzling)
  • 1 medium onion peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 8 basil leaves chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

 

Method

  1. Slice off both the top and tail of the aubergines and courgettes and discard. Slice the aubergines into 0.5cm thick slices and dice the courgettes.
  2. Next take off any stalks you may have on the tomatoes, then score a small cross on the bottom and place in a bowl. Pour boiling water over the top of them and leave for about 20 seconds. Take the tomatoes out and then repeat but this time with cold water. Once the tomatoes are cooled you can peel them, quarter them, deseed them and then chop into chunks.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large frying and place on a medium heat. When the oil is hot brown the aubergines until soft and then remove them. Add another tablespoon of oil and fry the courgettes until soft and golden. Remove when cooked and repeat the same process with the chopped, sliced and deseeded peppers.
  4. In the same pan but without adding any more oil, fry the onions and garlic. Once both are softened and starting to brown add the tin tomatoes, the vinegar, sugar and all of the cooked veggies, the basil, the sprigs of thyme and the salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour into a dish to serve and drizzle with a little extra olive oil. Enjoy!
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Who would have thought that the still very trendy carrot cake has been around for over 40 years! This 1970s favourite is still very much a part of our cake life now and is served in most coffee shops in one form or another.

carrot cake 2277467 960 720 - 70s Inspired Retro Recipes: Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

For The Cake

  • 175g soft brown sugar
  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 140g grated carrot
  • 100g raisins
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
  • A little butter for greasing

 

For The Frosting

  • 110g softened butter
  • 300g cream cheese, cold
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g icing sugar

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4
  2. Grease and line a 18cm square tin with baking parchment.
  3. Into a bowl add the sugar, oil, eggs, grated carrot, orange zest and the raisins. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Once mixed, sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well. The mix will look lumpy but softer and slightly runnier than normal cake mix.
  5. Pour the mix into the cake tin and bake for up to 40-50 minutes (keep checking it!) until the cake is spingy and firm in the middle. Leave cake to one side to cool enough to handle and then remove from tin, peel off baking powder and leave on a wire cooling rack to cool further.
  6. To a clean bowl, add the butter and beat until fluffy, add the cream cheese (this must be cold and straight from the fridge) and the vanilla extract and mix. Sift in the icing sugar and mix gently until fluffy. Spread over the top of the cake.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
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Imagine you are in the 1970’s, in the Swiss Alps, you have just come back from skiing and you are all warm and cosy in your ski lodge… what 70s inspired recipe comes straight to mind? Cheese fondue of course! A retro party classic but still a great crowd pleaser today.

cheesefondue - 70s Inspired Retro Recipes: Cheese Fondue

 

Ingredients

  • 300g chopped or grated gruyere cheese
  • 300g chopped camembert (without rind)
  • 300ml white wine
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled)
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • small pinch of nutmeg
  • Crusty bread chopped into chunks
  • Fresh raw vegetables (optional)

 

Method

  1. Add the cheese, lemon juice and wine into a saucepan and gently heat until cheese as melted and mixed with the wine. Turn the heat down and then mix the cornflour and water together in a cup or mug thoroughly and then add to simmering pan to thicken the sauce mix, gently heat and stir.
  2. Carefully pour into a fondue pan which has a tealight or flame underneath to keep it simmering and warm.
  3. Add the peeled garlic (whole) into the cheesy mix and allow the heat to gently and permeate the garlic through the cheese sauce. Add the nutmeg and pepper and stir.
  4. Serve with crusty bread chunks or fresh raw veggies. Dip your chosen bread or veggies into the cheese fondue and enjoy!
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Back in the 1970s one of the desserts of choice to not only wow your guests but also tasted delicious was Crêpes Suzette. Usually flambéd this dessert always caused a stir a dinner parties. But not everyone has time to whip out a flambé dish at the dinner table so our version is not only a non-flambé recipe so you can cook it with minimal fuss but also using Cointreau instead of the traditional Grand Marnier, just to give it that extra citrus kick!

crepe suzette 187788 1920 1024x768 - 70s Inspired Retro Recipes: Crêpes Suzette

 

INGREDIENTS

For The Crêpes

  • 140g plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 25g unsalted butter – melted (plus an extra 5g melted butter for greasing)
  • Pinch of salt

For The Suzette Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • Juice of 3 large oranges
  • Peeled segments of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 30ml Cointreau
  • 50g unsalted butter

 

METHOD

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and mix well. Add a well in the middle of the flour/salt mix and crack in 2 eggs. Start to mix gently and as you do slowly pour in the milk. Don’t worry if you form lumps, the lumps will be whisked out, just keep whisking and get stronger with your whisking as you go.
  2. Whisk until the batter is smooth and all the flour has been incorporated. Once everything is whisked well and smooth add the melted butter and mix again.
  3. Heat a large frying pan and add the 5g of melted butter to grease the pan. Using a ladle, pour approximately 3 tablespoons of pancake mix into the pan and then gently swirl the pan around so the bottom of the pan is coated with a thin layer of batter. Cook the pancake for 45 seconds – 1 minute on one side, then flip over using a fish slice and then cook the other side. Cook both sides until they are freckled with golden spots.
  4. Slide the pancake out of the pan and onto a plate and then fold into quarters. Repeat until all pancake mix has been cooked into pancakes.
  5. Once you have finished cooking the pancakes, into the same frying pan add the caster sugar and heat on a low heat. Let the sugar melt without stirring and continue to allow it to melt until it becomes a dark amber caramel colour. Do not allow it to burn.
  6. As soon as the dark amber colour is achieved, take the pan off the heat straight away and add the orange juice. The pan will fizz and splatter so be very careful when doing this. As soon as the orange juice is in, then add the orange segments, lemon juice, orange zest and the Cointreau. Once everything is in, add the pan back to a low heat to melt the sugar again back to a flowing liquid.
  7. Add the butter and stir gently until it melts and then bring the sauce up to the boil and simmer until the sauce reduces a little and becomes glossy.
  8. Add the pancakes to the pan and coat in the sauce. Serve immediately. Add a scoop of clotted cream ice cream as a delicious addition!

Enjoy!

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A retro recipe recipe collection wouldn’t be complete without this throwback to the 70s. The ever delicious Quiche Lorraine. The eggy, cheesy, bacon pie is delicious hot with a jacket potato or cold with a salad. Add a few cherry tomatoes and a little fresh basil to garnish and you have a modern twist on this 70’s classic.

quiche 1579379 960 720 - 70s Inspired Retro Recipes: Quiche Lorraine

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 125g plain flour
  • 50g diced butter (and a little extra for greasing the tin)
  • 2 tablespoon ice cold water
  • pinch of salt

Filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml single cream
  • 50g diced bacon (back bacon preferably)
  • 50g grated cheddar cheese
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes (optional)
  • Sprig of fresh basil (optional)

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C
  2. Sift flour into a bowl and add the salt, mix through quickly and then add the butter. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour to create a breadcrumb texture. Add the ice cold water and mix the water and breadcrumb like mixture together to create a soft dough and then wrap in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. After the dough has chilled, roll out the dough and line a greased (use a little extra butter to grease the tin) 17cm flan or quiche tin. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and add baking beans or uncooked rice and back the pastry for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take the pastry out and remove the paper and beans or rice. Leave pastry in the tin.
  4. In a clean bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, salt and pepper together. Add the grated cheese and diced bacon to the eggy mix and stir well. Carefully pour the eggy mix into the pastry lined tin to create a filling. Reduce the oven temperature down to 180°C and bake for 20-30 minutes depending, checking every 5 minutes from 20 minutes onwards until the filling is set in the centre of the quiche and the pastry is golden. If you would like to add the cherry tomatoes, at 15 minutes into the backing, poke the cherry tomatoes into the top of the quiche.
  5. Serve hot or cold and with a sprig of basil if you wish.
  6. Enjoy!
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A fabulously retro steak recipe, the sophisticated Steak Diane. Steak with brandy and mustard sauce, divine! I wonder who Diane was?…

steakdiane - 70s Inspired Retro Recipes: Steak Diane

Ingredients

  • 2 6-8oz fillet or rump steaks
  • 200ml beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 large shallot (chopped finely)
  • 3 tablespoons double cream
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

Method

  1. Sprinkle your steaks with the salt and pepper and pat down.
  2. Add the oil to a non stick frying pan and cook your steaks on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side if you like rare steak, 5-6 minutes for medium steak and 8 minutes for well done steak. Remove the steaks from the frying pan and allow to rest.
  3. In the same frying pan add the chopped shallot and butter and cook until soft, pour the brandy into the pan. Very carefully light a match and add the flame to the brandy to create a flambé. Be very careful. If you do not want to do this, simply simmer the brandy shallot mix for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce and mustard to the pan and keep stirring whilst gently simmering for 1 minute.
  5. Add the stock and bring back to the boil and cook until sauce has reduced by almost half.
  6. Add the cream, any juices from the resting steaks and keep cooking for another minute. Add the chopped parsley at the end, stir quickly and then pour over the steaks and serve.

Enjoy!

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Welcome to our new blog series of ‘retro recipes’ designed with pure 70’s mania in mind. We could not start this series with anything more 70s than of course, the prawn cocktail. Here is our very own recipe for the perfect way to start a classic meal.

FullSizeRender - 70s Inspired Retro Recipes: Prawn Cocktail

Ingredients

 

  • 400g cooked peeled prawns
  • 250g cooked tiger prawns
  • 8 shell on prawns
  • 4 little gem lettuces, washed and trimmed
  • 6 heaped tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 5 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 whole lemon, quartered in wedges
  • Smoked paprika for dusting
  • Fresh chives for garnish

 

Method

  1. To a large bowl add the mayonnaise, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and black pepper and then mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust mayo, ketchup and pepper to your own taste. 
  2. Add the cooked peeled prawns and the cooked tiger prawns to the sauce bowl and mix well once again and then chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  3. Add the lettuce to each bowl and then heap portions of the prawn and sauce mix creatively over the top. Add a wedge of lemon, 2 shell on prawns, a dusting of smoked paprika and a couple of chives to garnish. Back to the 70s here we go!
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Dimmet is a complete 1970s experience and that is not by chance! We made that decision to create it within that decade close to our hearts and memories of good times.

But we didn’t get there all by ourselves – oh no! We had a helping hand and inspiration in the form of specialist designer Marina Morris. She’s one of life’s creative geniuses, and the 70s brief for Dimmet was right up her street.

So, meet Marina, our Dimmet Designer for the 1970s…..

Hi, I’m Marina and I have a degree in Fine Art and History of Art from Goldsmiths College, London University.

For a short while after that I worked for an interior design company and then spent nearly twenty years working in the film industry as a set decorator on films and a stylist on television commercials.

Dimmet evolved from Emma asking me to help her refurbish their house in Braunton as a holiday let. Being the late ’60s/ ’70s property that it is, I suggested that we pay homage to it’s origins and design the interior in a ’60s/’70s style and give it a funky Abigail’s Party look. Emma wanted to create an interactive experience, where people felt it was full on 70s, so we sourced clothes, kitchenware and games to bring Dimmet to life in this colourful decade.

Dimmet0417 BC 9S9A5904 Edit - Dimmet’s Dedicated Decade Designer - Marina Morris

The idea was also to make staying there a little experience of the era, a time capsule where you could cook recipes from 70s cookbooks, serve it on 70s tableware, play 70s music on a record player, dry your hair under a 70s drier and dress up in fabulous retro clothes while watching all those classic 70’ films.

However, while much of the interior dressing is from the period, including the genuine 70s wallpaper; extreme modern comfort has been afforded to all appliances, beautiful mattresses and bed linen, a new bathroom and kitchen and drapes – but all with a feel of the era.

Dimmet0417 BC 9S9A6016 - Dimmet’s Dedicated Decade Designer - Marina Morris

About fourteen years ago I worked on a film (a bio pic of Bobby Darin starring and directed by Kevin Spacey) which spanned the 50s to the 70s. I spent many months researching the period. Back then the look was not as popular as today and, apart from very expensive shops like twentytwentyone, the stuff was hard to find. I remember going to the warehouse of a guy in Kent who had been collecting it for years and buying a beautiful Warren Platner table and chairs set, Eames chairs and gorgeous Danish sideboards that would be a small fortune today.

I used film contacts to source the wall coverings for Dimmet, and much of the dressing was found in online auctions, local auctions and charity shops as well as vintage shops.  

Hopefully the mixture of genuine retro pieces together with the modern comforts and luxuries guests expect today combine to give a rather unique experience.

Dimmet0417 BC 9S9A6135 1 - Dimmet’s Dedicated Decade Designer - Marina Morris

We love it Marina, so thank you for being part of this amazing Dimmet journey.

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‘staycation’

noun

informal

‘a holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions’

We have a little secret, and it might make you think about staycationing for the summer, or half term, or any holiday time! Our little secret is called Dimmet….

Dimmet is in Devon and it’s the perfect staycation for couples or family. And the best bit of complete quirkiness? Think 70s style, think seaside.

dimmet outside 1024x682 - Why Staycation? Dimmet Devon makes the perfect UK Staycation.

Dimmet is all about beach holidays and relaxation. Dimmet is a unique 1970s style holiday home is close to the large village of Braunton (recently voted in the top 40 British beaches) and the award-winning beaches at Saunton Sands, Croyde and Woolacombe. It is staycation paradise!

dimmet inside 1024x682 - Why Staycation? Dimmet Devon makes the perfect UK Staycation.

Dimmet had a total 70s style refurbishment and combines the best of the old with the best of the new. Nearly all of the interior accessories are either vintage or local and what makes this staycation extra special is the time travel element with its 70s experience for you – from vintage wallpaper to crockery and furniture, the vibe is all about bringing back on of the most loved, iconic decades. Pineapple on sticks, Kiln Craft crockery, and flares are all obligatory at Dimmet!

Dimmet is the Devon word for the half-light at the end of the day, and it’s our favourite time to be down at Saunton Sands beach, with a BBQ going and the evening rolling in…staycations never felt better!

Guests can enjoy all the facilities and areas available to them. There is a beach kit is in the garage, as is the BBQ and garden equipment, all of which guests are welcome to use.

beach near dimmet 1024x682 - Why Staycation? Dimmet Devon makes the perfect UK Staycation.

Staycations are stress-free holidays for everyone and Dimmet adds that extra dimension of 70s fun.

So, if you’re wondering where to go and why you should staycation right here in beautiful Blighty, here’s 7 reasons….

  1. You get the chance to really explore the local area and discover something new.
  2. You spend less time travelling (give or take the M5!).
  3. British beaches are amazing. Fact.
  4. There’s nothing like a pub lunch, afternoon or fish and chips on the beach!
  5. You learn stuff – history is everywhere!
  6. You can get involved in local festivals and live it up!
  7. Walking…..when you’re there, there’s no need for a car. And relax!

Happy staycationing!

 

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One of the great things about Dimmet is that you are an easy 10 minute walk from Braunton, and when hubby and I slipped down there for a sneaky night away (OK – to do some final jobs on the house ;-)) – we decided that we would treat ourselves to breakfast the next morning at the Riverside. We didn’t get up too early as they very conveniently serve breakfast from 8:45am until 11:45am – so we meandered down for an 10am breakfast.

We’ve been to The Riverside a few times and the food and service has been consistently excellent. We chose to sit outside as it was a sunny April morning – and placed our order. Breakfast arrived fairly promptly and, to hubby’s delight, consisted of black pudding, bacon, sausage, tomato, beans, 2 slabs of cornbread toast and a deliciously grilled mushroom.

Breakfast at the RiversideRiverside - cappuccino

Breakfast is a highlight of the day for my hubby, but a great breakfast plate can sometimes be let down by the accompanying tea and coffee. Not in this case, the tea and coffee were freshly made and really hit the mark – so I suspect that the Riverside is about to become a favourite breakfast haunt.

Next, sensing that I had a breakfast-happy husband, I took full advantage and took him round the shops in Braunton looking for 1970s pieces for Dimmet!

The Riverside Restaurant: http://www.theriversidebraunton.co.uk/

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